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["150 (TSS/day) when they start the Tour. By the end of the Tour it will typically be in the neighborhood of 200. That’s a 25% increase"] ...Actually, 50/150 is a 33% increase


Not only are those TSS scores high, but they're even higher for the average person. Since they're based (I think) on one's threshold power, weaker riders such as myself will have even higher scores for a similar route. I rode the Tour route last year, a day ahead of the race, and my CTL went from a meager 27.8 the day before starting to 124.8 3 weeks later! My highest TSS was 488.3, but most were in the 250-350 ballpark, with some outliers in the 400s and 100s.

Joe Friel

Thanks for catching that, Mark. Corrected.

marco hintz

Hi Joe, would the CTL of the riders who do the Pro Challenge here in Colorado accumulate more fatigue being at higher elevations than that of the TdF? 1wk of racing as opposed to 3 I'm sure isn't as bad but I'd guess the elevation would impact top riders more.

Joe Friel

Marco-If they don't change their FTPs to adjust for the altitude it will show up as a lower CTL than for the same effort at sea level. If they do adjust FTP then it will be the same as sea level.

Derek Alvarado

What amazes me most is that these riders have days where they amassed 400 TSS points, and THEN THEY RIDE AGAIN the next day, and the next, and the next.

Only twice since I've been training with power (13 mos)have I gone over 300 TSS in a day, and it caused my CTL to actually drop because of how many days I had to take off afterwards.

Are these riders genetically predisposed to quick recovery, or is it because they've been racing since they were 12? Both?

The more I train with power, the more I realize how important recovery is to progress. Sometimes I think other riders in my category who are advancing quickly don't necessarily train harder, but they recover quicker. I'm not to concerned, I just find it interesting.

Joe Friel

Derek--There are two things that contribute to performance at the highest level in sport: natural talent (genetics) and many years of hard work. TdF riders undoubtedly have both going for them. And you're right--recovery is the key.


Joe, it seems that your observations of the phenomenal performance at the Tour could be explained by the USADA dossier released this week...

Joe Friel

Tan--Yes, it certainly appears that way, at least for some.

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